There is something amusing about Vikrant Massey; he is one of the few actors who have been successful in doing films, television, and short films at the same time. He become the name of television industry with TV soap like ‘Balika Vadhu’ and made his debut in Bollywood with ‘Lootera’. Since then the actor has walked a successful path between blockbuster commercial cinemas – ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, ‘Half Girlfriend’ and independent cinema – ‘A Death In The Gunj’, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. We had a candid chat with him regarding his new Web series ‘Rise’ and how he loves to play characters which he can relate to. Read on…

“I want to play characters which people relate to”

What was the starting point to step into web series ‘Rise’?

Ideally I could relate to the character because it is about a common man who is an engineer. And what excited me the most is the story and the character Shrey that I play, because I feel there are many people like Shrey in this world and most important is that we all have dreams.  We all day dream, we all have our aspiration and we all have seen them come down.  And I believe hope is the only thing that keeps it going if there is no hope then nothing can happen. And after television a lot of people were telling me after them watching me in films, now they want to see me in some other platform where they haven’t seen me yet.  And I guess I was lucky that this platform came to me and with such a concept where majority people could relate to it. And especially the engineer students, also there is a lot of things other than just earning money and working all the time.  My personal experience was once I did a road trip and I was enlightened.  So when I see something like this on paper and I am like wow this has happened to me as well.  And such other things were also relatable for me so it was good working on this platform.

As you have played different characters altogether but what made you hold on to this; if you could elaborate your character…

He is a simple, normal guy with aspirations in life. The most important dream of his life is his bike. And there are many boys like him who love bikes like crazy and has a dream to own it. So Shrey’s dream is only to have a bike and for that he has saved money since 5 years just to buy the Ducati bike.  So the day he buys the Ducati bike the next day he loses his job and its every man’s need to do saving, pay EMI, and these things have become important in life. So all we do is work and keep paying EMI’s, make a property, save money and with all these things we feel we have achieved something in life. So there is always an alternate turn in life. I believe and even the character believes that to earn money and save money is not life. Life is traveling around, admiring nature, which is equally important in life.   Traveling is also one kind of achievement.  And I could relate to Shrey because even I was kicked out of my job and I know how it feels when you have liabilities on you, so it’s a story about a common family; there’s nothing extraordinary about it. But the good thing is that people like it because all can relate to it.

We also seen in the trailer you meet this elderly man and he is a complete stranger to you and you travel with him; so has this incident happen to you in real life?

No, nothing has happened like the scene in the web series. In ‘Rise’ it starts off with the very irritating mode with Sharmaji but eventually how Shrey is fond of him and how they form a relationship. So something similar to me hasn’t happened yet but I have met a lot of people on my road trip and I have really good memories of it.

Web series have literally made their mark in today’s digital market and we see a lot of silver screen faces and directors working towards web series, so do you think there will be a threat to Hindi cinema in any manner; as we don’t see much foot falls in cinema?

I don’t really think so much; I am an independent artist and for me medium don’t matter, I just like being part of good stories.  May it be in any platform, I just want to be part of good narrative, good stories; I want to play different characters. I want to play characters which people relate to.

How has been your experience working for web series and if you could distinguish the difference between films, televisions?

Working in different platforms is having different experiences and learnings, I have lately started working in films and I am still learning the process. I feel films are different from television and television is different from web series.  More or less my effort is always that – my input approach remains the same, it’s not that if you are doing a film you are working hard on it and if doing television then you are doing less work; medium is different, technicality is different, equipments are different, television is far more demanding because it caters to audience on daily basis.  But I am enjoying my work with films and web series and good thing about web series is that; it doesn’t have censorship, so you can be as vocal and true to yourself as you want to be.  And I feel everything has its own charm.

Now what next after ‘Rise’?

As we speak I am filming ‘Mirzapur’ which is a web series on Amazon, that’s the next web series I am doing. And after that I’ll start shooting my next feature with Anurag Kashyap and producer Vikramaditya Motwane which is called ‘Cargo’   and then after that will be collaborating with Ekta kapoor for Balaji; that is happening in February or March.

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